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Call For Youth Allowance Policy Revisit

7th October 1999
Attention: Education and Political Reporters
For Immediate Release

CALL FOR YOUTH ALLOWANCE POLICY REVISIT

The New Zealand University Students' Association (NZUSA) today called on the Government to revisit the issue of Student Allowances for younger people, as a Bill designed to make Student Loan contracts for under-18 year olds enforceable moved through Parliament.

"Rather than wasting time on tightening the Loan Scheme screws on young people, the Government should be taking steps to ensure that they do not have to get into debt in the first place," said Karen Skinner, Co-President of NZUSA. "One way of doing this would be to restore the eligibility of under 18-year olds for Student Allowances."

"Young people's access to Student Allowances was removed in 1998, after the Government decided that 'aligning' Allowances to unemployment benefits was more important than supporting young people who wished to extend themselves."

"If the Government is serious about encouraging people to remain in education, then it is vital that they think about student support measures a little more realistically. Otherwise, we're going to see people who are not even old enough to vote joining the ranks of the Generation of Debt."

For further comment contact NZUSA Co-President Karen Skinner on (025) 86 86 73

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